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Merkatz's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 330 posts (419 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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137ben wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I'm not sure if the 15ft range or the number of monsters immune to it is the nastier part.

It's strong, but doesn't do everything.

I think the number of things immune to it is the bigger issue.

You're an oracle, not a wizard. The 15ft range does mean, though, that it isn't going to be hitting very many monsters at once.
Either way, compared to what a time oracle gets? This is pretty minor.

The problem stems exactly from the fact that he is an oracle, not a wizard, though. A spontaneous caster casts this metamagic'd color spray as a full round action. That means he can only 5 foot step to get into position to cast this spell with 15 foot range. Pray there are no allies in the way.

I think the funniest thing about these totalitarian cities is that in the given examples they stop at just dealing with magic. If they are going to spend so much money and manpower, why don't they just take the extra step to negate mundane threats as well. Why no physical pat downs that foil your mundane disguise? Why not Zones of Truth or Detect Thoughts to see through your mundane bluff?

Majuba wrote:
Merkatz wrote:
Be a cleric of a general concept instead of a specific deity. Now you can take other domains (in this case a druid domain), Take the Plains domain and you can now cast haste with your domain spell slots.

Terrain domains are only available to nature-themed classes.

PRD wrote:
"Other nature-themed classes with access to domains may select an animal or terrain domain in place of a regular domain.

Obviously you play a Cleric of Nature then. Done.

Be a cleric of a general concept instead of a specific deity. Now you can take other domains (in this case a druid domain), Take the Plains domain and you can now cast haste with your domain spell slots.

That begs the question PatientWolf, if I am a regular human who takes Aspect of the Beast to grow claws, would you require a disguise check to still appear human? What if I am a sorcerer and my bloodline grants me wings? Or if I grow horns while raging?

I still think taking racial heritage on a scion of humanity aasimar is pretty cheesy (but then again I think aasimars can be pretty cheesy in general).

3 levels of Cave Druid will get you Lightfoot which will permanently keep you off the tremorsense radar.

Not terribly optimal for you though...

Edit: Boots of the Soft Step (Legacy of Fire magic item) blocks tremorsense if you move slowly enough. -of-the-soft-step

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Steve Geddes: I like magic being stronger than mundane as well, but if that is going to be the case, there needs to be certain restraints in place. And of course, Pathfinder has none of those.

With overpowering magic, some of the following should apply:
-Magic should be rare (in PF magic is everywhere, even high level magic. 13 of 19 base classes are magic users).

-Magic should be dangerous to use (in PF there is no punishment for failing a spell or using lots of spells as once)

-Magic, especially higher level magic, should take some setup time (in PF 95% of spells take a few seconds to cast)

-Magic should require specialization or progression (in PF you can cherry pick spells as you desire. Even "specialists" wizards can cherry pick from 80% of the arcane list)

-Magic should be difficult to learn (in PF spell casters gain levels just as easily as martials, and the only time they are weak are like level 1 and 2- but everyone is rather fragile at those levels)

So yeah, I have no problems with individual magical spells outclassing mundane methods but, its stupid how easy it is to become a spellcaster and for them to diversify their abilities and use them without a care.

Neurophage really hit the nail on the head here when talking about feat chains, and the relative lack of non scaling feats.

I mean its really annoying when I invest 3 feats into a chain just to be good at 1 combat maneuver, whilst the wizard can cherry pick 1 spell to be good at 4.

And while it is stupid that martials have to suffer through feat chains, while spell casters can select spells at their leisure, the biggest slap in the face is that casters don't even have to deal with feat chains or obnoxious requirements for their feats. For instance, similar design would require spellcasters to take Spell Focus for every school they would want to use metamagic feats on- or something of that nature.

The other big thing that would help martials out would be a reworking of skills to make them more useful in a wider variety of situations without the need of feats/abilities to modify them. For example, I'd let anyone inspire their allies with the Oratory skill (skill check to see how well you inspire them). Why is that only members of the bard class can give stirring speeches that actually do something? Of course you'd change bards to give them better bonuses to Oratory, such as longer duration, smaller action to activate, etc...

I'd also look at modifying skills to make things like traps and poison actually useful to PCs, increase the power of profession skills so they do something other then generate money, and give more inherent combat options for skills like acrobatics, slight of hand, intimidate, and sense motive without the need for special feats or abilities.

Cuatroespada hit the nail on the head.

The whole idea of having a racial prerequisites is because of physical differences amongst the races. That being the case, there should be an implicit understanding that taking Racial Heritage grants you any needed characteristic that a racial feat would require, provided that characteristic grants no initial mechanical benefit. So obviously things like darkvision and skill bonuses aren't granted, but things like tails and scales are fine.

The only difference between Tail Terror and a different racial feat is that Tail Terror specifically calls out what distinguishes a normal human from a normal kobold. That shouldn't prevent you from using Tail Terror via Racial Heritage.

If you argue that this isn't the case then Racial Heritage logically falls apart for pretty much every other use as well.

cuatroespada pointed out Razor Tusk and Agile Tongue as two very striking examples, but I think that this is the case for pretty much every racial feat. Even innocuous examples like Feline Grace (grants a few CMD bonuses) restricts usage to a catfolk body only.That prereq is essentially saying that the balance required for Feline Grace is only available to feline characters who have appropriate muscle/mass ratios, and appendages such as tails and whiskers. But no one here will say Racial Heritage doesn't let you use Feline Grace.

Any argument against the usage of Tail Terror via Racial Heritage is pretty much saying "Racial Heritage can morph and modify your body type fluff any way fitting for that race, except if such a feature is specifically identified in a racial feat or ability." And that doesn't make any sense.

Swashbucklersdc wrote:
I would advise against any character that has an anial companion to dump Charisma; one of your most important skills is Handle Animal. With only 1 rank in it at level 1, your handle Animal is only going to be a +2. You are going to have trouble getting your animal to do even tricks you have taught it.

Meh... Animal Companions all have "Link" which gives a +4 to that Handle Animal check. So even with that dumped Charisma, you still successfully "Handle" 85% of the time at first level, which will obviously get higher with level. I don't think it's a problem.

Tristan, I am comparing the proposal to the podcast change.

You say "extra reward," but that's an illusion. If I have to pay for a res, I am still out that cost. Delayed Credit just means I lose that money at 7th lvl instead of 4th... All because I took extra risk for the team, and I got no advantage for my troubles.

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Robert Matthews 166 wrote:
Merkatz wrote:

I'm still seeing 0 incentive in wanting to play up, even with the Delayed Credit option in play. I'm still taking an increased risk and I'm stil probably spending more money to play up, but still get no extra gold to compensate. Delayed Credit does nothing to change that (it just means pushing off losses to another date.

Your two playing up "options" just look like this to me: Play up and risk your PC to take a wealth hit (A) now or (B) later.

That is the point. There isn't supposed to be an incentive to play up. That is the goal of this entire discussion.

Then the only way I would play up is if I am "bullied" into doing so. And we a wanted to avoid that, remember?

I'm still seeing 0 incentive in wanting to play up, even with the Delayed Credit option in play. I'm still taking an increased risk and I'm still probably spending more money to play up, but still get no extra gold to compensate. Delayed Credit does nothing to change that (it just means pushing off losses to another date).

Your two playing up "options" just look like this to me: Play up and risk your PC to take a wealth hit (A) now or (B) later.

I don't understand the support for the "Delayed Reward" proposal. It seems like the illusion of a solution rather than actually solving anything. I mean what concerns that people had with the podcast change does it actually address?

-If I play down a few games will this let we recoup my losses later? No.
-If I would incur extra losses for playing up would I get anything extra to take care of that? No.

And heck, don't most people like building up characters and playing characters at higher levels? I know for a fact that I don't want to play extra scenarios at lower level and limit the number of times I can actually play my character at a lower level.

Not to mention, unless this "Delayed Reward" proposal 100% covers all GP and consumable expenditures made in the scenario I am going find myself in a worse off situation next week than I was this week (less gold and eq but same xp and pa...)

I'm just really not seeing what this does...

Hey! I'd definitely be up for an AP. We'd need to decide on which exact AP we would be playing before chargen though...

I'm up for most APs (especially the later ones), but I think Reign of Winter will have the most support since it is the new hotness. And if we go for Reign of Winter, I think I'd like to try out a Huntmaster Cavalier (multiple dog companions + winter environment = dogsled).

So how exactly do you plan on deciding which AP you are going to run?

There's always the option of going Beast Rider Cavalier. At 7th level they get the option to apply a unique Large template to any creature that is normally large, but isn't usually as an animal companion.

Of course, I still think Paizo dropped the ball by not putting out a large bear by default...

I have to agree with Turin. Aasimars were good option pre ARG, but now they just look completely delicious to me... True, they only work well in certain classes- but they can do some pretty ridiculous things that no others can do. If I am playing a class that needs either Charisma or Wisdom, it's hard to do better than Aasimar.

Enough people have already talked about the basic perks... But, I haven't seen anyone talk about Favored Class Bonuses at all. Adding 1/2 level to a single Bard performance or Oracle Revelation is absolutely amazing.

The primary benefit to Aasimar Bards is that they can exit the Bard class early while still having full progression in their main performance (leave vanilla Bard at 13 and still have swift action +4 Inspire Courage for example).

With Oracle, it's all about boosting up that one revelation that doesn't have any caps. Oracle of Life with 17d6 channel? Oracle of Battle that has a BAB of +30 for 1 type of CM. Get an additional +4 AC Armor options available to most Oracles (eg Ancestor's Spirit Shield caps at +16 AC for Aasimars).

Or in campaigns you know won't be going to 20, you can even go after those capped Revelations without worry. Oracle of Nature has a 20th level Animal Companion at 14th level. Blow a single feat for the Aasimar only Celestial Servant, and it now has the Celestial Template complete with Resist Acid, Cold, and Electricity 15, DR 10/evil, and once a day Smite for +16 damage. (Hell, Celestial Servant alone is why Aasimars make good Druids).

And Aasimar's just have cool stuff in general. They get a 3rd level SLA that is exceptionally useful (especially against stupid society modules) that can be easily augmented with a single feat (Heavenly Radiance). Who else can take a single feat to get high level SLAs?


As a side note, Lumiere do you really consider Resist Energy 5 to Acid, Cold, and Electricity to be useless by third level? Hell, I'd still be happy to take 5 less points of damage from a lightning bolt even at 10th level and beyond...

It's been like this for a while now, but the biggest problem I still have with the program is that a lot (most?) if the NPC's have quite a bit of gear missing from their blocks.

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For all of the class archetypes in the UM book (including the entire Magus class as well), there are 21 points of FAQ/errata. 10 of those FAQ/errata are for the Synthesist.

I don't want to print out 2 tricking pages of rules clarifications just for one archetype...

Yeah, he keeps all those proficiencies as per RAW.

So hilariously enough, I cannot think of a single class or archetype that is proficient with more weapons then the Unarmed Fighter is. I think that was the real thing that Ravingdork was getting caught up on.

Hey! Welcome to town! I'm another Beavercreek local.

Honestly, the best way to meet gaming groups is to just go to the stores and see what you can find! But off the top of my head, here's what I know is going down around town:

Bookery Fantasy (Fairborn):
-Boardgaming every Sunday afternoon
-Sunday afternoon Skull and Shackles campaign that I think is looking for players

Epic Loot (Centerville)
-Boardgaming every Thursday and Saturday night
-Lots of RPGs popping up (I just joined a Burning Wheel group of youngsters last Friday, and saw a Shadowrun group get kicked off as well with a 4E group already running strong).

Bell, Book, and Comic (Dayton):
-Boardgaming every Friday night, and every other Tuesday night
-Pathfinder Society every other Wednesday night

Epic Loot is the newest store and has by far the best turn out for anything (they also have a huge wall of free to play games). Bookery Fantasy always has a solid Sunday crowd. Bell, Book, and Comic has somewhat become hit and miss. It looks like it's being more dominated by the MtG crowd over everything else.

Also check out the SOGG group (rpgers) and the Game-Day group (board gamers). Both of which are very active, and can give you more definite confirmations of dates and activities.

Best of luck, and hope to see you around.

Why are we delving into the idea of granting players another swift action? They just need to make some of the powers a 1/round free action or just as a part of another action.

Now there would still be the worry of using a bunch of different abilities in one turn, but they can just do like they did for the SA Rogue Talents. Put an asterisks next to the troublesome ones and just say you can't use more than one of those per round as a general rule. That sort of falls in line with what we have already without the need to add extra action types.

shallowsoul wrote:

A monk gets to ignore prerequisites for a lot of feats but does that automatically make them a better class? Also, why is it such a deal breaker to get a feat five levels early? Unless it's the feat "I win", then it doesn't suddenly make one class better than another.

Actually, Monk is a fine example of a class that isn't good just because it gets a bunch of extra feats. However, in the right combination all those extra feats without prereqs can be quite ridiculous (see Zen Archer).

But why is getting something 5 levels earlier such a big deal to me? Because in my games that means I get to play with it about 6 months earlier. And if it is a good or fun feat that's a pretty big deal.

The thing is, I really, really want to like the Fighter. I love open chassis character types. And in all actuality, most of us don't have too big of a problem with the Fighter as is. Yeah more skill points and better saves would be nice. But what we really have a problem with is feats in general.

If they ease back on prereqs, scale feats better, breakup / improve certain chains, remove certain feats that should be always available to anyone, and give us some more feats with new and interesting options (not just +X to Y), then I could love playing the Fighter.

That's not too much to ask for, is it? XD

bugleyman wrote:
The most jarring thing I've noticed so far is a con artist that doesn't have bluff.

It's a bard with Versatile Performance (Act). He doesn't need to put ranks into the bluff skill.

Although I reall wish they would state this more clearly in stat blocks. Performance skill equivaencies are not something I'll ever memorize...

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From most important to least:

  • Person who brings snacks.
  • Person who accurately keeps track of loot
  • Person who can talk for party regardless of CHA score
  • Person who can tell you what option is best for you and what book it is in
  • Person who can keep track of the DM's plot and those silly subsystems

Okay, after my first time through, the thing that stands out the most is that aside from the PrC examples there is not a single multiclassed character in the book... That was pretty disappointing to me.

Now I know space is limited, but instead of spending 25 pages on the iconics (which are already available for free), you could have let the developers get creative with that space and make some NPCs without any class restrictions.

Yeah, I really don't like feats being the main feature of a class. Too many feats are just boring static bonuses or are meant to modify actual class abilities (of which the fighter has none). And most of the interesting feats are stuck behind annoying prereqs (eg most manuever feats) or obnoxious chains (eg Whirlwind Attack). It doesn't help the fact that there is a strong need to reinvest in feats to stay relevant (eg vital strike), or have feats with higher and higher prereqs but with diminishing returns (eg TWF). And this compounded by the fact that a fighter is almost forced to select certain feats once he gets into higher levels (eg Iron Will).

Now add that to the fact that there are many, many ways for other classes to use feats more efficiently than fighters (through early access, ignoring prereqs, or having modified abilities) on top of there other abilities.

Lemmy had a good example: A Battle Oracle who takes Extra Revelation: Weapon Mastery gets three feats for the price of one...

Rangers are another one... Archery Rangers can get Imp Precise Strike 5 levels early. Mounted Rangers can get the fearsome Mounted Skirmisher feat 4 levels early and without needing Trick Riding first. Two handed weapon Rangers can pick up Great Cleave without needing regular Cleave first.

I ask myself "Why would I ever play a fighter?" And I find that I have no answer.

Actually, I really like the idea of just throwing out some more regular/mythic feats that requires a decent Str prerequisite. I can't think of a single PC feat that requires more than Str 13- whereas I can think of at least a dozen Dex feats... That's part of the problem.

A good start would be making mythic power attack require Str 17 or something. Or how about a mythic feat that lets you wield oversize weapons without penalty (ie human wielding large greatsword)?

But then, lets not make everything be about damage for Str... The ability to apply certain conditions or do combat maneuvers as a part of a regular attack (ie still doing the damage) could be one possibility.

And the point still remains that Dex builds are using resources to catch up to Str builds and Str builds can close the gap on the normal Dex advantages with a lot of mythic options (many of which are free).

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Artanthos wrote:

You mean they gave wizards a mythic feat that is still less than paragon surge?

No, not the feat. The base ability for Archmages called Wild Arcana. And it is much better than Paragon Surge. Paragon Surge requires you to use a spell and a round to set it up to get a specific spell for a short duration. And the spells you cast still come out of your available slots. Wild Arcana lets you use Mythic Power at will to cast any spell your class could let you without expending spell slots. Welcome to +15 additional 9th levels spells that the wizard can spontaneously cast at 20th level- just from one level of Mythic.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

But back to Mythic Finesse:
Well the feat is incorrectly and poorly worded at best. But i think so long as it doesn't do 1.5 damage with two handlers its fine.

And let's be fair, while Dex is a god stat in the regular game, there are a lot of little abilities in Mythic that make Dex far less necessary.

Inititiative bonus? Everyone gets a +20 at Myth 2.

Reflex Saves? Its the least important save. You can always burn Mythic Power after the fact if it is critically important. And there are other Myth features that can help make such thing irrelevant (heck everyone gets a version of improved evasion, but it works for all saves, except those from mythic spells at tier 5).

AC? Mythic offers a few ways to get DR, a couple ways to flat out ignore damage, and quite a few ways to get some AC bumps (mythic combat expertise gives you a +3 to +8 Dodge bonus at no penalty for 10 rounds at the cost of 1 Mythic Power for instance).

So what martial characters would choose Str over Dex? Those who don't want to be terrible in early levels before Mythic comes into play and those want to explore more interesting options in Mythic without having a delayed progression because you need a certain feat and some paths abilities to max out Dex properly (after all, tiers are supposed to take longer to obtain than normal levels).

Oh no Dex to damage!!!! Of course it's more powerful than Dervish Dance. This is a Mythic feat, it's supposed to be better.

And as far as Mythic goes, it's still not that powerful in comparison to other things.

A 5th level Wizard with 20 Int who gets 1 Tier of Archmage, selects Wild Arcana and can now choose to spontaneously cast any Wizard spell 3rd level or lower 5 times per day without any preparation.

For those of you keeping track at home, that Wizard can choose from around 500 spells to cast from as needed. And that only get's much worse as the Wizard levels (he doesn't need any more Mythic Tiers). Schrodinger's Wizard is now an actual reality.

Honestly, having flaws doesn't bother me at all. I think some need to be changed a little bit to make everything working, but that's it.

However, what would be lost if we make flaws optional? What is gained by making flaws mandatory?

I can't think of any reason why they shouldn't just be optional.

Yeah, I think School Aversion is by far the worst choice as a Mythic Flaw.

-4 Against all saves AND effects lasting twice as long against you is bad enough. But no benefit from spells (or effects) from that school? That's brutal.

Transmutation isn't used offensively? Enjoy never benefiting from Feather Fall, Expeditious Retreat, Haste, Fly (and similar flight abilities), all the good polymorph effects, Time Stop, and a bunch of other common buffs.

And oh god, could you imagine taking School Aversion: Conjuration? How would you heal???

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Hey Jason, just curious to see what you think would be the best way to handle WBL for Mythic Tiers.

EG If we were playing something written for 15th level characters, would you recommend everyone starting with 15th level average wealth?

Or would the character that is 10/5M start with just average wealth for a 10th level character? Then the character at 13/2M have 13th level wealth and the normal 15th level character be the only one with 15th level wealth.

Or what if it was just everyone at 10/5M. Should they go against challenges build for APL 15 with 10th or 15th level wealth?

Or are you hoping for all different kinds of mixes?

Edit: Big Ninja...

Actually, Mort, I did find a CR requirement. It's on Page 35 in the GM section. I think the reason I missed it before (and probably other people) is because it talks about those CR guidelines for Lesser Trials under a subheading labeled Greater Trials.

It says that you can normally only accomplish a Lesser Trial when up against a creature with an adjusted CR equal to your adjusted level. Or possibly a group with a CR each 1 or 2 lower. However, that doesn't change how easy some of the skill challenges are.


However, I think one of the biggest problems is that there are only 13 presented examples of Lesser Trials available to each path. However, a character progressing all the way to Tier 10 needs to accomplish 55 Lesser Trials. Repeating trials over and over again becomes decisively less and less mythic to me. Yes James, creating a throw away Intelligent Item isn't very Mythic, but unless the DM creates 50 more Lesser Trials available for each path, you are going to be repeating trials. I begin to get less interested in how awesome it is to create an Intelligent Item when it's the sixth one I've had to make.


And Veiled Nail, yes a lot of us will know what something "Mythic" looks like when we see it, but the problem is that you have to declare what your Trial is before you achieve it. You preform some amazing stunt against all the odds to save the day? Congrats. Here's a Mystic Power Point. Now go cast three random spells off scrolls because that's what you said you would do to show off to the world!

Okay, sounds good.

Thanks Jason.

I'm seeing this in a couple of places, but here is one example:

Iron Will (Mythic)
Your will is incorruptible.
Prerequisite: Iron Will, 3rd mythic tier.
Benefit: Whenever you roll a Will saving throw against a spell, spell-like ability, or special ability from a nonmythic source, you may roll twice and take the best result.

Does anything with a Mythic Tier or Mythic Rank count as a mythic source? EG if a Mythic Wizard casts a normal Dominate Person, would Iron Will (Mythic) apply?

Or would this just apply to those specific Mythic Spells or regular spells that have been modified in some way with Mythic Power?

I am curious, because if everything a Mythic character does counts as Mythic, how do some of these feats/abilities work in higher Myth/Level games? If I am playing as a 15 level character with 7 Myth Tiers, how many things am I fighting with absolutely no Myth levels? If the answer to that question is "almost none" then would things like Iron Will (Mythic) become completely useless?

However, the player does have to declare the trial before he attempts it in order for it to count for Mythic progression.

So the point remains. Players still know what trials they have to complete, so that incentive to be selfish over working as a team is still there.

You think Dependency is the easiest flaw?

How about Weapon Weakness (Siege Engine)? When was the last time you were attacked by one of those?

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Okay, so a little bit of hyperbole, but there seems to be a heck of a lot of abilities using Swift (or Immediate) Actions in this playtest.

That's great for a classes like Fighter who really don't have any use for swift actions, but it seems like Bard and Inquistor who already struggle with their number of swift action abilities are getting the shaft.

I played an Arcane Duelist that already needed swift actions for Performance, Arcane Strike, and quite a few spells (the finale and inspiration line of spells for instance). The obvious path for bard is Marshal, yet every single Marshal's Order requires a swift action, Mythic Power requires a swift action, and a lot of the path abilities require swift actions.

Would it be that terribly overpower to change at least some of these to 1/round free actions?

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I really have to agree. Since you have to declare what trials you are attempting to accomplish, the whole thing seems less epic and more metagamey.

I can just see the bard now yelling, "Wait, don't kill them yet! I still need to perform one more round to get my Performance Victory!"

Or Guardians yelling at people to run away or fight defensively because the battle is almost over and no one has taken damage yet, because that's what he needs for Behind Me!

There is also some of these Trials are ridiculously easy to accomplish.

Perfect Craft? A single DC 16 Spellcraft check to make a CL 1 item, and you got it (12.5 gold for CL 1 scrolls anyone?)

I can also see legions of high level mystic characters taking walks in the woods to make knowledge checks about bunnies, squirrels, birds and other low level creatures until they roll high on their knowledge check to show off their Skill Supremacy.

The Trickster will also accompany those characters on their nature walks. Kill a single bunny in one shot to show off your Assassinate skills.

Definitely interested in this. I'm thinking Scout Rogue, but obviously I want to see the playtest document before I make too many decisions.

I guess I didn't get my points across very well. I don't just want mechanical benefits, ignoring all flavor. Not at all. The idea behind general traits is that if the players want them, they have to provide the flavor that justifies it.

Feros wrote:

This brings up something that I consider one of the most important features of traits: many do the exact same thing mechanically.

For example: In the APG the Bully (Social) and the Brute (Half-orc Racial) traits are mechanically exactly the same. But the fluff connected to each is different.

See, I consider this to be the worst feature of traits. There are 101 ways for someone to have a background that would justify giving them a +1 to intimidate and making it a class skill, agreed? However, I don't think any of us want paizo to be printing 101 traits for intimidate and then 101 more for every other skill.

Instead, if we follow my generalized trait idea, players can say that they are intimidating because their father was a lawman who taught them some interrogation techniques. Or maybe they horribly scarred their face in some accident/battle and now have a very fearsome appearance. Or they can provide one of dozens of other reasons, and then I can probe deeper or offer suggestions to make it better if I so desire. The point is that players are using the fluff they want with a benefit that makes sense.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

The other benefit to consolidating traits is that since there is no need to reprint mechanically identical traits, energy could be spent on developing some specific traits with specific requirements and unique benefits. Ideally, these specific traits would be more than some generic bonus, but instead offer a benefit that could occasionally shine through and visibly show the character's background.

For example, the Acadamae in Korvosa is a famed wizarding college that specializes in summoning. A trait saying you attended this specific school shouldn't give you generic +1 to Kn Arcana or whatever. That's boring. There's thousands of ways to get better at Kn Arcana. But maybe the prominent Acadamae has some unique tricks that deal with summoning that is difficult to pick up elsewhere. Instead, granting a specific summoning bonus would be more fitting, like say allowing all summons to stay out an additional 1 or 2 rounds. Or for something more interesting, how about 1/day letting a former student of the Acadamae roll twice when determining the number of creatures being summoned and take the better result. Now that's a flavorful bonus, and players around the table can see that you have some unique skills at summoning because you are an Acadamae student.

Flavor is important. But I like flavor and mechanics to make sense and both still be interesting. Make all the traits that offer generic bonuses generic themselves, and then focus on making traits that have special flavor and special mechanics.

cartmanbeck wrote:
Merkatz wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


The modifiers to which you are referring are for when YOU are invisible, not when one part of what you're doing is invisible. Huge difference.

That doesn't really seem like a huge difference to me. The target can't see how it is being disarmed/stolen from. Are you saying they don't have any penalties for that? Because that doesn't make any sense to me.
They can see you pointing at them and casting a spell, so they'd be on guard for something to happen to them. They're not flat-footed.

Pilfering Hand only has a Somatic component requirement, and that doesn't require you to "point at them." So the BSF is on guard in the middle of combat against a force he can't see taking away his weapon just because a cleric waved his arm 50 feet away? What if it was a stilled spell? Would he still be on guard then?

Also, can I use the same argument against every Ninja with Vanishing Trick after he goes invisible in the middle of combat? I certainly would be "on guard" against an attack from him. Do I keep my Dex as well?

Jiggy wrote:


The modifiers to which you are referring are for when YOU are invisible, not when one part of what you're doing is invisible. Huge difference.

That doesn't really seem like a huge difference to me. The target can't see how it is being disarmed/stolen from. Are you saying they don't have any penalties for that? Because that doesn't make any sense to me.

I actually like Pilfering Hand for my casting Clerics. If I know I am going up against Humanoid opponents, I will prep one or two of them.

Especially since I don't have access to things like Pyrotechnics, Web, or even the nerfed Glitterdust.

A key thing about Pilfering Hand is that unlike other spells that perform CMs (eg Chain of Perdition), Pilfering Hand says that it is an invisible force. That means +2 on that CMB check, and the target is denied their DEX (and some other) bonus to CMD. This can be a pretty debilitating spell with a rather good success rate against DEX based characters (eg archers).

But, I wouldn't go so far as to say it is OP.

SlimGauge wrote:
Merkatz wrote:
Only Humans can be Aspiring Bards.

To be fair, this one is technically v3.5 material from Taldor: Echos of Glory and was originally restricted to not only humans, but Taldans. I suspect the Kitharodian Academy and the Rhapsodic College are uptight about non-humans attending. THAT's why a lot of the traits are so restricted, because they're from supplements geared to a specific setting/location.

When I check the SRD for this trait, it's listed as FAN CONVERTED material (removing the restriction of Taldan).

And to be fair, it is still PFS legal and D20PFSRD has been making a bunch of mistakes on labeling traits (there are a bunch of APG traits labeled as FAN CONVERTED for instance).

Okay, lets say I buy the story about Taldorans being racists and can only let Humans into their Bardic Academies. Taldor is not the only place in the world with Bard Colleges. But this flavorful trait with a useful bonus to me is out of my reach because I live in Cheliax, and wandered around the Bard Colleges in Westcrown. Too bad they didn't reprint an Aspiring Bard trait in the Cheliax guide. Guess I am SOL.

That's the problem with traits. They don't cover every instance, they cover super specific instances. There are dozens of Bard Colleges all over Golarion, and the bonus is a very generic one. However, only Taldoran Humans can be Aspiring Bards. No one else.

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BltzKrg242 wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
I am sorry you feel that way. Many of my players love hunting through the traits for something that not only fits their character concept but also provides that nice flavorful, and mechanical bonus for them. They treat it like a little treasure hunt. When you find the trait that works well with your concept it feels great. Also, I've seen players design entire character concepts off of a trait (meaning they saw a cool trait they designed their character knowing they wanted him/her to have it).

This. Generic is like picking a feat.

Traits are designed to provide a background hook or story element as well as an in-game mechanic.
If a player really wants a trait for fluff but doesn't qualify, I'd be happy to bend but they need to explain why that is not "I want that bonus"...

But too many traits have super specific details and requirements, only to give an extremely general mechanic. And if I am not taking a trait because "I want that bonus," why take traits at all? If it's just fluff with no benefit, I can already make that up without needing any rules for it.

However, I do agree that traits should be good for a background hook or story element. So if you let your players take one of those generic traits, have them explain why that works. I mean, if you already let your players re-fluff and ignore prereq's, what is the difference between that and having a couple generic feats, making them fill in the blanks?

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When traits were first introduced in the APG, I was pretty excited about them. They seemed like nifty little customizations that could could give you a small boost in power while giving some nice flavor at the same time.

However, as more and more traits have been coming out, I have become more and more disappointed, until the point that I've actually really began to hate them. Although, Campaign Traits have been somewhat better.

The biggest problem with traits are the artificial requirements and restrictions put on them.

Only Humans can be Aspiring Bards.
Only people from the River Kingdom could have been Bandits.
Only worshipers of Cayden can be Good Natured.

It's completely asinine. Seriously, it's like one department comes up with a good trait, and then another department randomly picks 1-3 requirements from out of a hat. And it really frustrates me that like 10 new traits are added every month, but I never even consider using 9 of those. So when I slog through a few hundred traits, trying to find anything that fits my concept and actually does something remotely useful, I usually end up disappointed. So I wind up falling back on the handful of most useful and most open traits (eg Resilient and Reactionary) once again, and wonder why I bothered.
___________________________________________________________________________ _____________________

I honestly wish Paizo had done something like this instead:

Skilled Background: Pick 1 skill. Get a +1 trait bonus on that skill and always treat it as a class skill.

Resilient Background: Get a +1 trait bonus on one of Fortitude, Reflex, or Willpower saving throws.

Native Weapon: You gain proficiency in one weapon, depending on your homeland. *Big list of locations/weapons (eg Brevoy- Aldori Dueling Sword; Tian Xia- Katana; Qadira- Scimitar, etc...)

Hometown: Pick 1 city where you grew up. You get a +2 trait bonus on Kn. Local and Kn. History checks about this city, as well as a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks made to Gather Information while within the city. You can make such checks untrained.

Do a few more big sweeping general traits like these, then you can have the rest of the traits introduced be unique, flavorful, and actually have sensible requirements.

For example, Aasimar's could have traits that give them DR 1 or 2/Evil, the ability to bypass 5 points of /Good DR, or how about the ability to intensify their Daylight SLA (say it can be Widened, but only works 1 min/level instead of 10)?

How about a Favored Lineage trait where Half-X's can use the Favored Class Bonuses of one of their parents?

The possibilities are endless, but they just need the fluff requirements to match the actual mechanics (and the mechanics can't be worthless, either). Am I the only one who really feels this way about traits?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

1. I'd rather have an NPC writeup that you can uses as-is without an animal companion, and have the option to swap in an animal companion (even if it's not built to optimize that setup), than have an NPC writeup that requires you to use an animal companion, and becomes much less powerful if you swap in a domain instead because several of the character's feats and spells now do nothing because they're meant to be used with a (now nonexistant) animal companion.

I have to say that I find this to be rather disappointing as well. While I applaud the idea of trying to make each NPC as useful in as many situations as possible, I feel that this makes the book suffer in versatility on the whole.

With 300+ NPCs, having a few specialized concepts is expected, as well as actually desired. And its not like a Druid that focuses heavily on buffing his AC is a radical fringe idea. I really doubt that anyone would have complained if 5 of the characters in this book relied heavily on ACs (well, except for people wanting even more examples of this).

But, now I am curious about what other common ideas are going to be completely missing in the book for the sake every single build being as individually useable in as many situations as possible. :/

A couple of other suggestions:

1. He now radiates Evil as a Demon of his HD. This doesn't have any affects on things like Smite Evil, but it will set off alignment based traps and divination. This could have large repercussions if your characters interact somewhat often with good aligned clergy. Also, Demons (and Demons only) can recognize the character for what he is.

2. When the character gets down to HD or lower hit points (ie only those hit points he was able to obtain with that inherent +1 Con), some part of the demonic energy that is within him tries to take over. Maybe have him under a confusion like effect for as long as he is like this +1d4 rounds afterwards. But, I'd change the confusion rules to this- 1-25: act normally, 26-50: do nothing, 51-75: attack nearest living thing, 76-100: cause as much rampant destruction as possible. Also, they don't have the caveat of having to attack whatever last attacked them instead of rolling.

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